Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Saving Money with Web Conferencing (Be green, less travel!)

Results of the ACTE 2009 Business Travel Spend survey show that 71 percent of respondents plan to spend less on travel in 2009, with 21 percent reporting they will spend the same, leaving only eight percent saying they will spend more.

That's a dramatic change from the similar September 2008 survey, which found 33 percent of travel managers planned to spend less on business travel in 2009, 31 percent expected to spend the same and 36 percent planning to spend more.

Results of the ACTE 2009 Business Travel Spend survey show that the hardest-hit area of business travel is internal meetings that can constitute up to 40 percent of overall travel budgets. As a fairly direct result, the survey showed that interest in electronic travel alternatives jumped from 32 percent in 2008 to 50 percent in 2009, making it the number one ranked priority for this year.

That should result in growth for Web conferencing services, collaboration tools and some incremental growth for place-based videoconferencing systems as well. High-end telepresence systems should also get more attention, though tight capital budgets will be a counter-balancing factor.

Time is an increasingly scarce asset. The economy and competitive nature of business have forced us to seek new ways to improve revenue and client satisfaction by expanding business, managing heavier work loads and providing current clients with more personal attention—all at a lower cost. This has resulted in intense pressure to make every hour count by streamlining current business processes that are tedious, repetitious, or inefficient, and by putting people and information closer together.

In a typical scenario, a professional needs to gather input from multiple colleagues, clients, or outside experts all over the country in order to arrive at a final legal document. Traditionally, the business professional would use a variety of communication methods, such as express mail, regular mail, fax, or e-mail to send copies of this sensitive document to these individuals.

The business professional must then idly await their comments and revisions. Within several days, the business professional receives back multiple copies of the contract with everyone’s comments and revisions in separate documents. Next is the arduous and time-consuming process of trying to merge the documents and choose between conflicting revisions and multiple drafts.

If you're a company with global connections (and who isn't these days?) you don't need a calculator to figure out that if you increase virtual conferencing, you'll really take the bite out of your annual travel budget.

Web Meetings, Presentations, and Collaboration offer us both time and money savings. Many of us spend a considerable amount of time traveling either across town or across the country. In some instances, face-to face meetings are the best—or only—way to handle certain types of meetings. But not every meeting requires in-person contact, and the increasing expense and inconvenience of travel is becoming harder to justify. And that does not include the demand from clients to reduce costs.

Web collaboration with VIA3 will drastically reduce travel budgets while simultaneously improving productivity and communications between stationary employees, roaming workers, customers, partners, and suppliers.

If you want to save money TODAY, download and start recognizing the benefits of web conferencing!